Peer to Peer Lending News Roundup – December 6, 2014

During the week I share the latest p2p lending news on Twitter as it happens. Then every Saturday I take the most interesting news items and blog posts from the past week and share them here.

What a week. My Google alerts picked up 267 stories covering our industry this past week which is by far the most I have ever seen in the 4 1/2 years I have been following along closely. Obviously, the Lending Club IPO was responsible for a majority of these and I have selected a handful of the more interesting articles below.

Lending Club Prices Its Share Offering at $10 to $12 from The New York Times – Long time Lending Club commentator Michael De La Merced gives his perspective on the IPO.

Stop shopping! And check out LendingClub’s IPO filing from CNBC – Ari Levy had a message for all the Cyber Monday shoppers.

Loans Made in Blink as Investors Vie for LendingClub Clients from Businessweek –  A look at how technology is playing a role in helping investors.

Early investors to make big gains on Lending Club IPO from the Financial Times – Lending Club board members Larry Summers, John Mack and Mary Meeker will all see their net worth rise considerably (on paper) after the IPO.

Lending Club’s Historic IPO is Probably Just Days Away from LendingMemo – Simon gives his always unique perspective on what the IPO means for the industry.

The Lending Club Online Roadshow from RetailRoadshow – A video presentation from CEO Renaud Laplanche also with commentary from their CFO Carrie Nolan.

Even without the Lending Club IPO this past week would have gone down as a big news week. Here are some of the highlights of the non-Lending Club news.

Tiger Global Co-Leads $225M Series D for Lending Co. AvantCredit from the Wall Street Journal – AvantCredit is less than two years old but this online consumer lender has just closed a huge funding round and is growing very fast.

Rupert Murdoch, James Packer invest in SocietyOne peer-to-peer start-up from the Australian Financial Review – Three Australian billionaires have invested in the leading P2P lending platform down under.

Funding Circle strikes deal in US from the Financial Times – A US investment group strikes a deal with Funding Circle to lend £132 million in the UK.

Peer-to-peer lending boost: investors allowed to offset loan losses from Citywire (UK) – Unlike in the US (where losses up to $3,000 can be deducted annually), UK investors cannot deduct losses from defaults on their tax returns; this will likely change next year.

Borrowell set to become second member of Canadian marketplace lender’s club from Financial Post – Borrowell is a new Canadian marketplace lender and has just closed a $5.4 million seed funding round.

International P2P Lending Services – Loan Volumes November 2014 from Wiseclerk – The November loan volume numbers for the major European p2p lenders.

Orchard Platform Introduces New Marketplace Lending Database from Orchard – The Orchard Originator Database gives institutional investors a way to evaluate originators.

Announcing the Winners of the $2 Billion Strong Contests! from Prosper – The video and photo winners from Prosper’s recent “$2 Billion” contest.

From the Lend Academy Forum

The Lend Academy forum is where investors go to discuss p2p lending. Below are some topics that were being discussed this week.

The Lending Club IPO is still being discussed at length on the forum here and here.

Filter Strategies and OPEC – Should we adjust our filtering strategies based on economic news that might affect a particular region.

How do you decide what markup/discount to use? – Pricing notes for sale on Folio is a regular topic of discussion on the forum.

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Dec. 8, 2014 7:11 pm

The LC IPO is going to be exciting to watch, although I’m starting to think I’ll be looking in from the outside. I wanted to buy in, but after multiple long phone calls with Fidelity talking to several different reps, they seem mystified as to why I haven’t received the e-mail that would let me indicate interest… and the deadline is tomorrow. It’s my first account with Fidelity and will certainly be my last, at this rate!

Dec. 9, 2014 8:29 am
Reply to  Peter Renton

I don’t think I’m the only one, as they seemed pretty familiar with the whole process of re-sending e-mails to people who didn’t get them. I gave them three different e-mail addresses (and have received many other Fidelity e-mails) but… nothing. I am really very disappointed that they could not get their s*** together for this.

Dan B
Dan B
Dec. 9, 2014 11:06 am
Reply to  SarahV

Well there have been multiple incidents of people saying they didn’t receive this or that email. It was discussed extensively in the forum going back a couple of weeks. So I have no doubt that the guys at Fidelity have had to resend many emails. However, having said all that, I’ve not heard of them saying they resent & someone still not receiving.

Are you saying that they have attempted to send that specific email & you’re just not receiving it? Or are you saying that you’re calling them & saying hey I didn’t receive that specific email & them saying they’d look into it & resend it…………………then perhaps (I’m guessing here) finding out you’re not on the list to get that & not communicating that info back to you. Then a few days go by, you still don’t have the email & you call & start the whole conversation again with a different rep who again says the same thing to you that they’d look into it etc etc,

I’m suggesting this out of left field scenario simply because there were in fact some people who got the initial email from LC, responded to it, then got the initial email from Fidelity with some qualifying or suitability questions & then the process went no further as they didn’t fit or meet those requirements. .

Dec. 9, 2014 11:40 am
Reply to  Dan B

Obviously there’s no way for me to know if they’re lying or not telling me something. There’s no reason that I shouldn’t be qualified.

I got the initial e-mail, I got the notification of eligibility (no less than 5 times, because their crack team of e-mail experts is apparently ON crack). I signed up for the account successfully. I’ve now talked to four different people, all of whom have consulted with other people (supervisors, the “tech team” etc). They said they would try sending it to another e-mail address in case there was some strange problem with the other one (that successfully received the other 11 e-mails Fidelity has sent me as well as everything Lending Club ever sent me). They even called my cell phone to have me check a different address. They were very apologetic and seemed bewildered.

I’m pretty much giving up at this point as I’m up to a good 2.5 hours of wasted time and at some point it’s simply not worth it. But I learned a good lesson and that is that you should never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do business with Fidelity!

Dan B
Dan B
Dec. 9, 2014 2:54 pm

Sarah…………Well that is beyond very strange. Not that it’s an acceptable excuse, but I was told this is their first DSP. It sure does look that way, as there has been an element of confusion & chaos with duplicate emails sent out, certain emails to some accounts but not others, postcards (with pointless messages) in the mail to some people, but not to others etc etc.

I’m not sure how I’d react if this had happened to me. I’m guessing that I wouldn’t be handling it as calmly & sanely as you are, so kudos.

Dec. 10, 2014 10:15 am
Reply to  Dan B

Well, I might have sent an unkind message to their support department last night 😉

On the plus side, I think I managed to register just under the wire late last night with the help of everyone’s favorite forum member. (With ZERO help from Fidelity, I’ll add.) Now the question remains as to whether or not I’ll get the e-mail for the next step in the process today or if the same problem happens again.